Remote Learning from the Teacher’s Perspective

1 May, 2020

A day in the life of a teacher during remote learning. Ms Ana McGrath, Gawura years 5 & 6 

My day started at 7:20 when I sat down at my desk, tea in hand, ready to go through my new morning routine. I turned my laptop on and read through my emails and shot off some replies. Then I updated the day plan for the kids, making some changes to the initially planned English lesson and finalised their Maths lesson.

At 8:20 – I uploaded the day plan for the kids, made a discussion forum for the day (this allows the kids to ask questions), posted an announcement for the kids about a writing and art competition that they can choose to enter.  

8:30 – an email came through with the staff daily notices. I see an announcement that I need to pass on to the kids, so I change the announcements section of the kid’s day plan and re-upload it. I then made a list of all the things to talk about in our daily 9am conference. After this I squeeze in 15 minutes of marking.  

9:00 – conference call with the kids. We discuss their breakfasts, all cereal, with the notable exception of one who had bacon, and I envy their household’s ability to cook in the morning. As per usual something technological doesn’t go quite right and the video we tried to watch together didn’t work. So, with a quick change in plans the kids watch the video themselves after the conference call and answer some questions in the collaborative space on OneNote. While the kids are doing this I marked the roll online and sent an email with instructions to a student whose computer glitched during the conference.  

9:40 – I make a cup of tea and take a little break from the screen.  

9:50 – I spoke to a parent and their child, giving them a run down of the video and we discussed what how the point of view presented in a text can change the way we interpret the events of the text. Once the student gets back to their work, the parent and I chat about how they are going.  

10:00 – I distribute the Maths task on OneNote, respond to a student’s email, and make a table showing the work students have completed and are yet to complete. This table helps me to know who needs extra help, or if I need to give the kids extra time to complete work. Then call Cath Gunning the Gawura Development Manager and I have a lovely chat with her.  

After the phone call I marked the English task the kids did in the morning. One of the students was on the document at the same time as me, so she typed out some questions she had and I was able to give her some help before our next video conference started.  

11:00 – Our daily Maths conference call started with some show and tell. We met some family pets (one cat and one dog) and family members, as well as being shown some family photos and a family property out in the bush. We talked through what they were to do for Maths and most of the kids logged off. Two of the students were having trouble logging into a Maths website we have been using, so we worked together to get them logged on.  

11:35 – Checked and responded to emails and messages on Microsoft Teams. Then started to make videos explaining how to use multiplication strategies for next week’s Maths lessons. For each video I make a PowerPoint with each of the steps and solve an equation using a different strategy in each video, then I upload it to Microsoft Steam. This is something I worked on throughout the day, every time I had a spare minute.  

11:55 – I got a call from parent about a student not being able to find work from another teacher. I tried to explain to the student and parent how to find the work…turns out I was wrong. I then contacted the teacher to ask for help.   

12:05 – Lunch time! 

12:20 – I respond to emails and communicate with the teacher and student about how to access the work. I also chat with some people in the Specialised Learning Team and other teachers, while I worked on the Maths videos, periodically checking my emails.  

1:40 – I had a chat with John Ralph. When we hung up I am reminded of how lucky I am to work for such a lovely man who is always up for a chat and to help. I then read an email from Dr. Collier about our return to school plans.  

2:20 – Tea break.  

2:35 – On the last day of Term 1 Year 6 and 5/6 Gawura were given the opportunity to participate in a talent quest. Each teacher has chosen a winner for their class and I have the honor of judging the overall winner…I watch all the videos but one while I wait to be granted access, making watching the last video a job for tomorrow. After judging the videos I continued making videos for Maths.   

3:15 – I tried to call a parent to check in, but they didn’t answer, so I sent them a text. I try another parent, again, no answer. I end up calling a colleague with a quick question and we chat a little about our days, something we have done since we started working together 2 years ago.  

3:35 – I filmed the last of the Maths videos and get ready to upload themBefore I could upload them I got a call from another staff member. After our 5 minute chat I upload the Maths videos to Microsoft Stream. I then send the links to other teachers and out the videos on OneNote ready for the kids to use them next week.  

4:20 – Write out a day plan for the kids for tomorrow, checked my emails and logged off at 4:50 pm 

Time to relax and start to think about tomorrow!! 

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